KinGAP Eligibility Expansion Signed Into Law by the Governor

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation supported by the City Bar that will expand the eligibility of foster children to receive subsidized kinship guardianship assistance with the goal of achieving permanency. The legislation was supported by the Children and the Law Committee, Family Court and Family Law Committee and Social Welfare Law Committee. The Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP) provides children in foster care who cannot be adopted or returned to their parents with a permanent home in the care of a relative. The new law will improve New York’s KinGAP program by filling gaps and removing barriers that prevent children from finding permanent homes through this arrangement. This will be accomplished by clarifying and expanding the definition of relative guardian to include additional adults with close relationships to the child (such as relatives of a child’s half-sibling) and allowing guardianship assistance payments to continue until a child reaches the age of 21 regardless of the age of the child when his or her guardianship arrangement was finalized.